Montecito Association Meets

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 13, 2020

At this month’s Montecito Association board meeting, Montecito Union School and Cold Spring School superintendents reported that school will begin next week, on a virtual platform. Dr. Anthony Ranii from MUS reported that enrollment is up to 376 students, and the school is in process of distributing computers to each student. Administrators are also preparing for in-person learning later this school year, when it is deemed safe for kids and teachers to be back on campus. All teachers at MUS are meeting with their students individually over the next few weeks, so the families and kids can meet their new teachers face-to-face. School starts Thursday, August 20.

Cold Spring School starts two days earlier, on Tuesday, August 18. Teachers are busy setting up their classrooms to welcome students as well, so they can meet before virtual learning begins. Dr. Amy Alzina reported that five kindergarten students have been pulled out of Cold Spring, in order to go back to preschool where they are allowed to meet in-person. Like MUS, all students at Cold Spring School will get MacBooks, and the curriculum will be a mix of virtual learning and hands-on activities. “I’m really excited about our blended model of hands-on learning opportunities,” she said. “Students will not be on their devices all day long.”  

Both schools are able to apply for a waiver to allow in-person learning once the number of infections of COVID-19 decreases significantly in the county. Dr. Alzina said a recent poll of parents showed 72% would like to send their children back to campus. “My job as the superintendent is to protect the health and safety of our students. If we can’t do that, I won’t seek a waiver. When it’s safe to re-enter, we’ll re-enter,” she said.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi reported on recent crime in Montecito, including trespassing and swimming on Edgecliff Lane, trespassing at Music Academy of the West, a burglary on Fairway Road, an unlocked vehicle burglary on San Ysidro Road, trespassing at the cemetery, and embezzlement on Pomar Lane. He also noted a case in which a part-time resident found out that people had been living in her vacant home for eight months, undetected.

Montecito Fire Battalion Chief Alan Widling reported that we are in currently in high fire season, and he expects the fire season to be active through mid-November.  

The Association is currently monitoring several land use issues, including the Randall Road Debris Basin, updates to the State’s ADU laws that the County is now working within, upcoming housing bills at the State level that could affect Montecito, the Olive Mill Roundabout, an increase in short-term rentals, and much more.

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